Trip Itineraries

Bighorn River near the Three Mile Trail
Bighorn River near Three Mile trail

NPS

 

Top 5 Things To Do - North District, Fort Smith, MT

  • Fish the Bighorn River - If you like to fish, then you'll love the Bighorn River. The first 3 miles below the Afterbay Dam are truly world class. Anywhere between 8,000 to 11,000 trout per mile can be found on the most fished stretch of river in the state of Montana. Two National Park Service managed fishing accesses that are part of Bighorn Canyon NRA give anglers this amazing opportunity.

  • Boating on Bighorn Lake - The waters of Bighorn Lake await boaters who come to ride between walls, cliffs, and spires that tower over 500 feet above the lake. The recreation opportunities on a boat trip along the lake are amazing. Water ski, fish, camp or enjoy the sights. This is truly an unforgettable trip!

  • Viewing Yellowtail Dam – From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Yellowtail Dam visitor center is open to the public seven days a week. Walk to the back of the visitor center to look through the glass windows at a truly stunning view. The Yellowtail Dam stands 525 feet high, damming the Bighorn and backing the lake up behind it for 71 miles.

  • Camping at Black Canyon – Could there be a prettier spot. Black Canyon's grandeur has few rivals. Towering sandstone cliffs rise above the lake. The campground sits where the lake turns to a clear stream. Spend a night enjoying the crisp, cool canyon air while experiencing the beauty Black Canyon evokes.

  • Ranger Led Programs - Every Saturday night throughout the summer National Park Service Rangers give evening programs at the Afterbay campground theater. Learn about the history of the Crow Nation, historic river trips, the bears of Bighorn Canyon, floating the Bighorn, and more. The natural and cultural history of Bighorn Canyon comes to life as past, present, and future intermingle at these programs along the peaceful shores of the Afterbay.

 
Canyon view of South District
View of Bighorn Canyon from Sullivan's Knob Trail.

NPS Photo

 

Top 5 Things To Do - South District, Bighorn Lovell, WY

  • Boating on Bighorn Lake – The waters of Bighorn Lake await boaters who come to ride between walls, cliffs, and spires that tower over 500 feet above the lake. The recreation opportunities on a boat trip along the lake are amazing. Water ski, fish, camp or enjoy the sights. This is truly an unforgettable trip!

  • Visit Devil Canyon Overlook – In a word: Stunning. Drive up to the Devil Canyon overlook just off the park road (Wyoming Hwy. 37), park your car, walk ten yards, and look down hundreds of vertical feet at the shimmering waters of Bighorn Lake. To understand how the river carved the canyon over millions and millions of years, Devil Canyon is a must see.

  • Fishing Bighorn Lake - Walleye and sauger are two of the most sought after species of fish in the 71 mile long waters of Bighorn Lake. Anglers have their choice of literally thousands of secluded spots along both the lake and shore. All this plus incredible scenery.

  • Visit the Historic Ranches - There are four historic ranches which tell the story of ranching history in the American West. From the wild, legendary days of the open range to the beginning of tourist dude ranches, these symbols of a not so long ago past tell a story of hope and hardship in one of the most rugged landscapes in North America.

  • Take a Hike - With over 25 miles of trails there are a plethora of options all over the South District. Try the stateline trail which straddles the Wyoming-Montana border and leads to amazing views of the canyon.

Last updated: January 30, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters Office
PO Box 7458

Fort Smith, MT 59035

Phone:

(307) 548-5406

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